Adolescents struggling with compulsive overeating behaviors (also known as binge eating) consume large amounts of food that is typically unhealthy in very small amounts of time. The eating is usually not welcomed, and is uncontrollable. There is guilt following the eating but the person does not engage in any compensatory behaviors to address the increased calories consumed.
Adolescents that are overwhelmed with stress, school, peers and family often look for ways to self soothe. Unfortunately, food has become the comfort when the adolescent is hurt. But with increased light being shed on childhood obesity by Michelle Obama, adolescents that engage in binge eating must do so in secret. Keeping this secret from family members and parents in particular, generates depression in the minor causing the minor to want to soothe him/herself more.
As a parent, it is always important to be aware that your child is struggling. In the case of compulsive overeating it is imperative that you are equipped with the signs and signals that will help you identify when your child is overeating because treatment for this disorder is crucial. We have included 8 warning signs that will aid parents in determining if their child is struggling with compulsive over eating.
Typical Warning Signs of Compulsive Overeating
Typical signs of a compulsive eater may include:
- Binge Eating
- Depression and Guilt
- Frequent Bowl Movements
- Involuntary Vomiting
- Dental Problems
- Irregular Periods
- Abdominal Bloating
Although this disorder is fully treatable and adolescents are able to recover from compulsive over eating everyday, it is imperative that treatment is sought. With a structured program of clinicians, dieticians, group therapists, etc, a full treatment regime can be achieved. Clients are taught to explore the underlying issues that cause the minor to turn to food for comfort. Moreover adolescents learn how to find soothing comfort in more appropriate manners.